Critics blast slow pace of Newtown Creek cleanup

(11/26/07) CITY HALL &舑; Frustrated Greenpoint residents, environmental officials and Rep. Nydia Velazquez testified before the City Council Monday about the cleanup of Newtown Creek.

According critics, the cleanup isn&舗;t moving fast enough. It was initially thought that 17 million gallons of oil spilled into the creek. However, a recent EPA report said the number could be as high as 30 million gallons. The spill was discovered in 1978.

Last week, Exxon Mobile offered to install more pumps in order to accelerate the cleanup. However, critics say this move is too little, too late.

One of the recommendations put forth at the City Council hearing called for the city&舗;s Department of Health to conduct its own study on the dangers and health impact of the spill.

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